Good bar, sit!

The latest good news is that hanging out in bars is good for your health. British researchers have found that. It’s like having a hobby that helps you relax, helping those stress manacles to slip from your weary wrists. Bars are soon to be recommended as a necessary part of a healthy life, like eating raw linseed mixed with curdled yoghurt. You know what I mean. They found that men who spent a few hours a week in their local had less trouble on their minds. Of course you can overdo your bar time, like any good thing. But then you may have less mind for worry to work on…
I would recommend a few hours at least twice a week, like any other exercise. When you are there, don’t let your mind wander from the task at hand. Stay focussed. It’s like meditation, so it may take a few weeks for you to get in the zone. When you do, you will notice that strange things happen to time. Bars can warp time – this is something the fancy-assed scientists have yet to explain.
In you go, with the night ahead of you. With the first drink in front of you, your timekeeping is impeccable. You notice just enough to stay useful, like when that exquisite brunette walks in and what she orders, a detail you are sure you will use to your advantage later. Until you notice (also with acute attention to the time) that her Quasimodo of a boyfriend has arrived.
By the second drink, this setback seems minor, and you are beginning to realise that in the course of an evening in the bar, time is on your side and inevitably she will be too. You are beginning to enter the blissful state of heightened awareness and conversational agility without feeling any rush, any pressure. Minutes that may have ticked away in clumsy mechanical tocks are now sliding in digital silence. Your ability to listen to the music and relate is only starting to reach what will later be a finely honed gift, something you share with Hendrix, Bono and James Brown. Music speaks to you.
You may or may not remember when and how the third and fourth drink gets to you, these are the trivial details of life. It also depends how well practised you are in the meditation of the bar. If you remember where the fifth comes from it’s only because that aforementioned brunette sent it over. Now deep in real bar time, or RBT, you have no need for time itself, it’s an irrelevant concept, like work, what you need to do tomorrow, and where you parked.
Pretty soon you are like Neo in The Matrix, you have reached a higher form of RBT, not unlike bullet time. This is wonderful. You are on top of so many plots, you are engaged in enlightening conversation, you have access to so many of life’s truths it’s as if other people are moving like bovine forms in slow motion. In meditation, they call this enlightenment, and it’s pretty cool.
Now, if you manage to stay in this zone, you are a master. But it’s damn hard not to slip through into The Blank Space. Here, you are no longer in control. You are not the Zen Master, but a Zen Hamster, spinning on a wonky wheel. An hour becomes a minute, a minute an eerie hour, and before you know it the birds are tweeting outside and the sun is ready to burn holes into your nocturnal eyes.
So go into a bar with some caution, fellow seeker of health and enlightenment. Practise your skills. The bar can hold the truth, but you will not find it by trying too hard. Let it come to you, and if the brunette doesn’t bring it with her, she’s probably the barmaid.